Browse this collectionThis entry describes an archive collection. Click here to see an overview of the whole collection
Archive Reference / Library Class No.D5459
TitleGeorge Murgatroyd Woodward (1767-1809), cartoonist
DescriptionThe collection consists of 494 items, of which 276 are prints, 169 are drawings, 2 are pen and ink sketches and 47 are pencil drawings. Of the 276 prints, 56 are by artists other than Woodward. There is reason to believe that the archive contains one or more editions of Tegg's 'Caricature Magazine', to which Woodward contributed work. This would explain the large number of prints by other artists, and why a number of the prints by Woodward are reissues, published after his death.
Extent11 shelves (494 items)
RepositoryDerbyshire Record Office
Full Catalogue ListClick here to view a full list for this collection
Archive CreatorGeorge Murgatroyd Woodward (1765-1809), artist and writer
Administrative HistoryGeorge Murgatroyd Woodward was baptised in Hackney, London, in 1767, but grew up in Stanton by Dale, where his father, William, was land agent to Earl Stanhope of Chevening. William Woodward was required to travel frequently in the course of his work as he was also responsible for overseeing the Earl's estates at Holsworthy in Devon, and Hoggeston in Buckinghamshire. Until 1787 the family also had a house in London, first at 115 High Holborn, then from 1783, at 30 Carey Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields.

As early as 1782 Woodward was helping his father with his work, carrying letters, and running errands. By 1787 he was working on the Earl's estates in Buckinghamshire, overseeing the unsuccessful prospecting for coal. He resigned his position with Earl Stanhope in 1791, embarking on his career as caricaturist in London. He died on 5 November 1809 at the Brown Bear Tavern, Bow Street, Covent Garden. He was buried at St Paul's Covent Garden, and the burial records give his age at the time of death as 45.

Woodward's artistic talents were apparently evident at a young age, according to his father 'he used to draw before he could speak plain'. His earliest drawings are mostly humorous scenes of everyday life, and caricature portraits. Between 1782 and 1787 he drew a series of portraits of actors in Shakespearean roles, as well as a number of depictions of the earliest balloon flights.

Woodward's first prints were published at the family's London home in Lincoln's Inn Fields in 1785. By the time he resigned from his position with Earl Stanhope in 1791, he had already produced work for several London publishers, notably Holland and Fores.

Because he was untrained as an artist, Woodward always relied on other artists to transfer his designs on to copperplates for printing. In the 1790s he collaborated with the young artist Richard Newton on a number of prints for the publisher William Holland. There are no examples of that work in the collection, but there many examples of the work he did in conjunction with Thomas Rowlandson for the publisher Rudolph Ackermann. This work includes several humorous series such as the 'Horse Accomplishments' and 'Journals' and 'Prayers', and also a collection of decorative borders. From 1807 Woodward began producing designs for Tegg's 'Caricature Magazine'. The quality of these prints is far lower than that of those published by Ackermann, and the subject matter is often somewhat coarser. Woodward also collaborated frequently with Isaac Cruikshank, father of the famous Victorian caricaturist George Cruikshank.

As well as an artist, Woodward was also a writer, and he wrote and illustrated a number of humorous works, several of which are also held here at the Derbyshire Record Office (D6052).
Custodial HistoryThe majority of this collection was probably originally owned by George Woodward's father, William Woodward; when George Woodward left Derbyshire for London, he may have left these drawings behind. The collection later came into the possession of Sir Henry Bemrose (1827-1911) of Derby. His library, including the Woodward cartoons, was purchased by Derby City Council and the Bemrose library was held at what is now Derby Local Studies and Family History Library until 2001, when it was transferred to Derbyshire Record Office.
ArrangementThe original order of the prints and drawings is unknown so an artificial order has been imposed.
Items have been placed in chronological order of full date, then month/year, then year, then decade etc, then in alphabetical order within those groupings. Drawings have been assigned dates when other items within that series are dated, when the item refers to an event occurring in a specific year or when a drawing corresponds to a dated print. Drawings have been assigned a decade based on events depicted in the drawings and on stylistic evidence.

Prints have been assigned dates according to dated versions of prints in other collections. Where there are different editions of the same print, they have been placed in the series according to the date of the earliest edition. Where there is only one print, it has been placed according to the date of the actual imprint, even if there is evidence for earlier editions. Undated duplicates have been put in a subseries with dated versions.
Where a series has been created it has been placed at the end of the date range within that series (ignoring undated items which have been placed within the series).
Further InformationThe notes field has been used to transcribe text on the item in the following order:
plate number; parallel title or further title information; series title : series number; artist : engraver; imprint; additional publisher's information; accompanying text; information on dates/attribution; background notes.

Text within the image has been transcribed in the description field.

The title proper has been transcribed, and put into lowercase where necessary. Dates, signatures, imprints and series numbers and titles have been transcribed as they are on the page, and have not been enclosed in quotation marks. Verse, and excerpts from plays and songs have been enclosed in quotation marks, and accompanying text has been enclosed in inverted commas. Lengthy text has been abbreviated. Additional notes give a context for the drawing and give references to any related prints.

The dimensions given are that of the sheet, not the image or plate mark, unless otherwise specified. No distinction has been made between an engraving and an etching. The item is landscape unless otherwise specified.
Organisation Sub-TypeArtists
Related MaterialSee D6052 for a book of Woodward's early sketches and four books containing his work.

Letters between George Woodward, his father and Earl Stanhope are held at the Centre for Kentish Studies: Stanhope of Chevening MSS., Ref: U1590/E99-100, E125-126, E128, E167
Publication NoteBEECHER HOGAN, C. et al, 1979. The London Stage 1660-1800. Southern Illinois University Press.
[London Stage]

GEORGE, M.D., 1952-1954. British Museum Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires (vols V-XI). London: British Museum.
[BM Sat] (Numbers cited refer to catalogue numbers)

GEORGE, M.D., 1959. English Political Caricature - A Study of Opinion and Propaganda. Oxford: OUP.
[George, 1959]

GORDON, WILLIAM A. A Catalogue of the Books, Drawings, Prints and Periodicals forming the William A Gordon Library of British Caricature. Illinois: Glencoe, 2013

GREGO, J., 1880. Rowlandson the Caricaturist. London: Chatto and Windus.

HIGHFILL, P.H., BURNIN, K.A., LANGHANS, E.A. 1973. A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Actresses, Musicians, Dancers, Managers and other Stage Personnel in London 1660-1800. Southern Illinois University Press.

ROLT, L. T. C., 1966. A History of Ballooning. London: Longmans.
[Rolt, 1966]

WOODWARD, G.M., 1816. Eccentric Excursions. London : Allen.
[Woodward, 1816]

Online Catalogues and Collections:

The Corporation of London Libraries and Guildhall Art Gallery. Collage database. Available from:

The Lewis Walpole Library Digital Collection. Available from:

George Murgatroyd Woodward (1767-1809), cartoonist

Show related Persons records.

Related Names
Name (click for further details)
Woodward; George Murgatroyd (1765-1809); of London and Stanton by Dale, artist and writer
Place (click for further details)Type
Add to My Items